Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt is doing precisely what President Donald J. Trump nominated him to do — bring accountability to an agency where none existed and to end its use as a political weapon — which is precisely why he’s taking so much flak from the authoritarian Deep State.
He even wants to bring transparency and accountability to the science the agency uses to implement policy. What an ogre!
In recent weeks Pruitt has been increasingly under fire — for office expenditures, travel expenditures, giving questionable raises — and now for using multiple email accounts, allegedly to “hide” what he’s doing.
As reported by The Daily Caller, the latest attack — Pruitt’s use of civilian email — was part of the focus of opposition Democrats when he appeared on Capitol Hill Thursday to answer questions about a range of issues:
EPA’s inspector general launched an investigation into Pruitt’s email at the urging of Democratic lawmakers in April. Pruitt used four email accounts — one of which is no longer in use — according to EPA. The big question Pruitt faces is whether all his government accounts were searched in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.
Pruitt’s use of private email accounts was immediately compared to the use of private email by one of Obama’s EPA administrators, Lisa Jackson. For instance, his use “evokes memories” of Jackson’s alias email account, Bloomberg News suggested.
The New York Times reported previously that Pruitt’s email use “echoes a controversy in 2012, during the Obama administration,” when Jackson “was criticized for a similar use of an undisclosed EPA email account.”
But is it the same? Hardly. (Related: Report: EPA insiders say administrator Pruitt is being SET UP.)
As The DC reports, all of Pruitt’s accounts are variants of his name or his home state of Oklahoma (one is “[email protected]” for the University of Oklahoma Sooners). The other big difference is that Pruitt did not create a false identity to conduct agency business, but Jackson did.
In 2012, as the NY Times referenced, it was discovered that Jackson was using an email under the pseudonym “Richard Windsor.” The identity was discovered by Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute while researching a book he wrote, “The Liberal War on Transparency.”
As The DC noted further:
Republican lawmakers and government watchdog groups worried Jackson’s false identity was being used to skirt transparency laws. What other reason is there to use a totally different name? Lawmakers and EPA’s IG were quick to investigate. Jackson was following a practice set by previous administrators by using a non-public email for internal communications, EPA said in 2012. EPA has said the same for Pruitt.
“The EPA maintains three email accounts which are attributed to Administrator Pruitt: two are used by staff for calendaring and public correspondence; the third is used by the Administrator,” EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told The Washington Post on April 12.
“A fourth email account was created for use by the Administrator but was superseded and never used beyond three test emails,” Wilcox told the paper, which first reported of Pruitt’s multiple emails. “When we receive a FOIA request, all accounts are searched before we respond to the FOIA request.”
But here’s the difference — again: Pruitt didn’t create a false identity. And there’s this — to further the lie, the EPA actually honored ‘Richard Windsor’ with fake employee distinctions and certificates, including, ridiculously, a “scholar of ethical behavior” award.
The Deep State senses it is in danger of being further exposed and circumvented by a president who has pledged to do that very thing. That’s why there’s so much flak around Trump’s appointees, like Pruitt.
They’re over their targets.
Read more about the dismantling of big government at BigGovernment.news.
J.D. Heyes is also editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.